America and Child Labor Essay
The industrial revolution was one of the hardest times in American history. With these hard times brought pollution, poverty, and prejudice. Along with these corruption's brought one of the darkest sides of the industrial revolution and America's past, child labor. The industrial revolution brought many social evils. One of possibly the most worse of the social issues happens to be the unfair treatment of children in labor. Child Labor was a scandal of the nineteenth century. Child Labor is the employment of children working under the age of physical maturity (Hine, index). Children would start work in mills, coal mines, and factories as young as 5 years old, to 18 years of age. An average child would work 18 hour days. Work days typically ran from dawn to sunset, and winter usually brought longer hours, from 68 to 72 hours per week.
The average pay for a child in labor was around $ 3.25 a week (Green, p 13).
After the Civil War, the industrial revolution took off. Businesses soared. Along with new businesses, labor was needed. As the number of factories started to grow in the United States, so did the number of people required to tend them. Immigrants came to the U.S. to make a better living for themselves and their families. Immigrants came to America with little to no money to survive. In order to avoid starvation, the families children were often forced into child labor. Because of laissez faire, which means that government would not get involved with business and the economy, businesses were aloud to pay extremely low wages and to allow children to work in horrible, hazardous working conditions. This is why children were often forced into labor, to help their families bring in more money. Surprisingly, with the amount of immigrants coming to America, there were labor shortages. Children were often taken from workhouses by employers. These children were transported in crowds from hundreds of miles away, to work all …